Tax News
How to Verify, Avoid, and Report Fraudulent Tax Professionals

In a continued effort to partner with CTEC to ensure regulatory compliance and enforcement, tax preparers can expect heightened enforcement efforts. We provide information to assist the tax community with guidance on how to verify, avoid, and report tax professional’s questionable practices.

Our CTEC program focus continues to:

  • Identify unregistered tax preparers.
  • Educate tax preparers about compliance requirements.
  • Enforce penalties for noncompliance when necessary.

We also educate taxpayers about their legal responsibility and to identify fraudulent California tax preparers.

Verify a registered and licensed tax preparer:

  • CRTP’s – California Tax Education Council Go to ctec.org or call: 877.850.2832.
  • CPAs – California Board of Accountancy Go to cba.ca.gov or call: 916.263.3680.
  • Attorneys – The State Bar of California Go to calbar.ca.gov or call: 866.442.2529.
  • EAs – Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Go to IRS’ webpage, Verify the Status of an Enrolled Agent.

We advise taxpayers to avoid tax preparers who:

  • Refuse to provide you their Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).
  • Promise a refund before reviewing your tax information.
  • Refuse to provide a copy of your prepared tax return.
  • Refuse to sign your prepared tax return.
  • Claim to be legally qualified, but you cannot verify their professional status as either an attorney, certified public accountant, CRTP, or enrolled agent.
  • Fail to give you (in writing) their name, address, and telephone number.

Report fraudulent tax preparers to the appropriate agency:

California Tax Education Council (CTEC)

Complaints about a CTEC-registered tax preparer:

Noncompliant Complaint Form – Go to ctec.org (online reports only).

Franchise Tax Board (FTB)

Complaints about a nonregistered tax preparer:

Mail reports to:

TAX PREPARER ENFORCEMENT MS F-151
FRANCHISE TAX BOARD
PO BOX 1468
SACRAMENTO CA 95812-1468

Contact us at:
Phone: 916.845.5525
Fax: 916.845.9391

Complaints about a tax preparer that provides questionable tax practitioner practices:

For online reports, go to ftb.ca.gov and search for report tax fraud.

Mail reports to:

FRANCHISE TAX BOARD
PO BOX 1565
RANCHO CORDOVA CA 95741

Contact us at:
Phone: 800.540.3453
Fax: 916.843.2060

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Complaints about a tax preparer:

Complete Form 14157 and mail it to:

ATTN: RETURN PREPARER OFFICE
MAIL STOP 421-D
INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE
401 W PEACHTREE STREET NW
ATLANTA GA 30308

Phone: 800.829.0433

Complaints about fraud and misconduct by a tax preparer:

Complete Form 14157A and mail to:

ATTN: PREPARER COMPLAINTS
MAIL STOP 58
INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE AM
53333 GETWELL ROAD
MEMPHIS TN 38118

Or go to IRS’ webpage, Make a Compliant about a Tax Return Preparer.

Additional resources available:

FTB Publication 982, How to Select an Income Tax Return Preparer
CTEC website, Is Your Tax Preparer Legal?
IRS Publication 4445G, How to Select a Return Preparer

Back to December 2013 Tax News